Volume 5 opens with John Jay taking a leave of absence from his post as secretary for foreign affairs to serve as a delegate to the New York Ratifying Convention. Following Jay’s appointment as the first chief justice of the United States, the volume documents his efforts to establish the federal court system, at both the Supreme Court and circuit court levels. The volume closes as Jay reluctantly agrees to return to Great Britain as a special envoy to negotiate a treaty to resolve the conflicts threatening to engulf the new nation in war.

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